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Best chemical for removing paste wax?

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Forum topic by Andybb posted 08-22-2017 07:37 AM 2263 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Andybb

330 posts in 359 days


08-22-2017 07:37 AM

I made a frame for my sons diploma and put a layer of paste wax on and buffed it a couple of months ago. I have now decided that I want a glossier finish under it. What is the best chemical to use to remove the wax. I can’t sand as I’m afraid to of messing up the veneer. I’m assuming that any wipe/spray finish either oil or water doesn’t like being on top of wax. I say chemical because there are no flaws in it now and I don’t really want to touch it with any metal tools.

-- Andy - Seattle - The best thing about being a pessimist is that you're either right or pleasantly surprised.


20 replies so far

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

5719 posts in 1955 days


#1 posted 08-22-2017 07:53 AM

Mineral spirits.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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Andybb

330 posts in 359 days


#2 posted 08-22-2017 08:13 AM

Cool. Thanks Brad. So just some good old fashioned rubbing with a cloth?

-- Andy - Seattle - The best thing about being a pessimist is that you're either right or pleasantly surprised.

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MrUnix

5719 posts in 1955 days


#3 posted 08-22-2017 08:49 AM

Yup… paste wax (ie: Johnsons) is just paraffin and carnauba wax dissolved in a solvent (Naphtha). You can use either Mineral Spirits or Naphtha to remove it with a cloth. Might take some effort, but make sure you get it all.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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ArtMann

566 posts in 572 days


#4 posted 08-22-2017 02:05 PM

I think you may have a problem getting the varnish to stick. You need to clean the wax off very thoroughly.

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Nubsnstubs

1162 posts in 1486 days


#5 posted 08-22-2017 02:42 PM

Andy the best wax remover I’ve found is a Porter Cable model 361 belt sander using a 3×24” belt. Takes a couple minutes and you’ve got good clean wood to refinish. No fuss, no muss…... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson) www.woodturnerstools.com

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Fresch

73 posts in 1676 days


#6 posted 08-22-2017 02:46 PM

Clay bar for automotive paint cleaning.

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pintodeluxe

5353 posts in 2569 days


#7 posted 08-22-2017 02:59 PM

You might consider shellac as the next topcoat, once the wax has been removed. That will seal any contaminants so you can apply your preferred topcoat be it lacquer, poly, or just more shellac.

Look on the can to see what the wax is thinned with. Use that to remove the wax.
Usually mineral spirits, toluene or naptha.

There is some risk of fisheye or crinkle in the new topcoat, so be prepared for that possibility. The shellac route should help avoid the problem.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4614 posts in 2249 days


#8 posted 08-22-2017 03:58 PM

Actually, shellac in itself would be a nice glossy finish and quite durable on something like a frame. I would be less worried about the paste wax and more concerned that a silicone product like Pledge had touched it. Shellac can handle that.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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Andybb

330 posts in 359 days


#9 posted 08-22-2017 04:37 PM


Andy the best wax remover I ve found is a Porter Cable model 361 belt sander using a 3×24” belt. Takes a couple minutes and you ve got good clean wood to refinish. No fuss, no muss…... Jerry (in Tucson)

- Nubsnstubs


My fear is screwing it up. It’s his law school diploma and the frame is perfect after 3 prototypes. But it’s veneer over MDF and I’m not gonna take a chance at putting a power tool anywhere near it. But I’m worried about the wax over BLO finish I used dulling over time. But I’m also worried about not being able to get all of the wax off and having it interact with whatever finish (probably General Finish oil based) I use over time also.


Actually, shellac in itself would be a nice glossy finish and quite durable on something like a frame. I would be less worried about the paste wax and more concerned that a silicone product like Pledge had touched it. Shellac can handle that.

- Fred Hargis


Exactly my concern. Its gotta be Pledge proof. It’s not gonna get a lot of tlc as its gonna be on a wall for potentially a long time and will probably only get a light wipe,with a dust cloth every so often so I want it to be low maintenance. But who knows what kind of shit and glass cleaner the cleaning crews will spray on it over time. (Yes, hindsight is f’n 20/20). But I don’t want some kind of fisheye thing to crop up 5 years from now because there was wax residue under the finish. After I do my best wipe down removal will shellac reliably seal it?

This all came to me after I dropped,it off at the frame shop yesterday so I’d have to go get it and refinish it as I don’t want to touch it after they do the mat and uv glass.

It’s kind of a legacy piece in that 30 years from now when I’m dust and a memory I want it to look good so I’m looking for a little piece of mind that it will. You know….”Hey, nice frame” ......”Thanks. My dad made that for me a long time ago” kind of legacy karma.

-- Andy - Seattle - The best thing about being a pessimist is that you're either right or pleasantly surprised.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5353 posts in 2569 days


#10 posted 08-22-2017 05:46 PM

Post a picture and everyone would probably say it looks great as-is.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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Andybb

330 posts in 359 days


#11 posted 08-22-2017 06:14 PM

The frame is at the frame shop. It does look great as-is if I do say so myself. I just want it to still pop as the years go by. I won’t get it back for 2 weeks if I just leave it there and not let my ADHD / OCD take over. I guess I can wait until I get it back and if I decide to change it I can always remove the mat and glass. I’m conflicted. If you’re watching this thread I’ll post pics when I get it back and see what you guys think. I do like the natural non glossy look and feel which is why I did what I did.

As an aside, the frame shop owner asked me where I got the frame. She said she’d sell a custom frame like that for $700-$800 so it must look not too shabby. She liked the natural look and feel of the finish.

-- Andy - Seattle - The best thing about being a pessimist is that you're either right or pleasantly surprised.

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splintergroup

1491 posts in 978 days


#12 posted 08-22-2017 07:23 PM

I clean up paste wax all the time with mineral spirits on a rag. Usually it’s cleaning the heavy coat of wax I apply to jigs to prevent glue from sticking.

Assuming your frame doesn’t have any deep/sharp crevices where wax gets to hide, just give it a good wipe, reverse the rag for a fresh surface, then do it again. It’ll take a few hours for the MS to evaporate off the surface, but best left overnight. You’ll have a nice clean surface on which to apply a fresh finish.

(Be sure to remove the glass and matting first!)

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Andybb

330 posts in 359 days


#13 posted 08-22-2017 10:38 PM


I clean up paste wax all the time with mineral spirits on a rag. Usually it s cleaning the heavy coat of wax I apply to jigs to prevent glue from sticking.

Assuming your frame doesn t have any deep/sharp crevices where wax gets to hide, just give it a good wipe, reverse the rag for a fresh surface, then do it again. It ll take a few hours for the MS to evaporate off the surface, but best left overnight. You ll have a nice clean surface on which to apply a fresh finish.

(Be sure to remove the glass and matting first!)

- splintergroup


Thank you. I might give that a try if I decide to do it. Maybe a coat of shellac first? Like I said, it looks pretty darn good now, but I know he’ll never wax/maintain it.

-- Andy - Seattle - The best thing about being a pessimist is that you're either right or pleasantly surprised.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4614 posts in 2249 days


#14 posted 08-23-2017 10:40 AM

If it gets fish eye, it won’t be 5 years from now. Fish eye occurs when the finish is drying. The shellac will seal any contaminants in should you want to top it with something. It will also stand up to furniture polishes, but not ammonia based cleaners…ammonia will absolutely destroy shellac. That’s how i clean my spray gun after spraying shellac…with ammonia.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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splintergroup

1491 posts in 978 days


#15 posted 08-23-2017 02:58 PM


Thank you. I might give that a try if I decide to do it. Maybe a coat of shellac first? Like I said, it looks pretty darn good now, but I know he ll never wax/maintain it.

- Andybb

Shellac after removing the wax of course 8^)

It can’t hurt, it sounds like you want a finish that can be maintained over the years.

This list would include shellac, lacquer, oil, and as you have already done, just wax.

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